They just don't really get it, this is a vocation and I wanna do it: exploring the wellbeing of 'customer service' workers in healthcare

Arevshatian, Lilith (2014) They just don't really get it, this is a vocation and I wanna do it: exploring the wellbeing of 'customer service' workers in healthcare. (PhD thesis), Kingston University.

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Abstract

This thesis tells the tale of a special group of healthcare 'customer service' workers called the Patient Advice Liaison Service (PALS). It looks at how their job is designed and explores the impact this has, on their wellbeing by using a mixed-method research design which includes one quantitative and one qualitative study. The starting occupational level study is based on quantitative data from 138 participants using a questionnaire that measures global wellbeing, job satisfaction and psychosocial work conditions. A high incidence of strain is reported, statistically higher than that of other customer service employees and more comparable to social workers. Psychosocial conditions at work are revealed to be dire and in need of urgent action; and yet, the same group of workers report satisfaction with their job. To further unwrap the complex lived experience of PALS workers, an individual level study was conducted. Interpretative phenomenological analysis was undertaken with nine participants. Four emergent themes affirm that when it comes to their job, others just don't really get it, especially the extent of their emotion work. Changing the NHS is compared to changing a super tanker's direction and participants confess to having had a breaking point. Nevertheless, PALS staff declare that this is a vocation and I wanna do it. Reflexive interpretations suggest that some customer service employees actually engage in rather complex work that is not easily captured by the broad 'customer service' label. For individuals engaged in this type of relational work emotion work was found to be both a source of distress and motivation. Comparisons between these healthcare workers and other public sector relational workers are made and the new discourse of expertise services is proposed. Theoretical and policy implications are discussed.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Physical Location: This item is held in stock at Kingston University library.
Research Area: Allied health professions and studies
Business and management studies
Faculty, School or Research Centre: Faculty of Business and Law > Kingston Business School (Department of Management) (from August 2013)
Depositing User: Niki Wilson
Date Deposited: 14 Apr 2014 15:03
Last Modified: 21 Apr 2014 08:44
URI: http://eprints.kingston.ac.uk/id/eprint/28225

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